No use crying over warmed milk

Remember when a friend called me “the gay Erma Bombeck” and it made me enter a writing contest? Well, some good writers and actual newspaper columnists won it. You can read their stories, but you have to read my contest entry first. Because what exactly are you here for?  (Links to winners at bottom)

warmmilk2

The difference between a good day and a bad day at our house boils down to one drink: Warm milk.

On weekday mornings at 7 a.m. the business of getting to work and getting to daycare starts. The whistle blows and the workers -– a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old — rise from their beds and come downstairs in their pajamas. The management team, on the other hand, has been up since before sunrise.

“Can I have some milk?” says Wynn.

“Me, too,” says Marlo.

“What is the magic word?” I say.

“Please,” they chorus, lying down on the sofa and sticking their thumbs in their mouths. They’re already on break.

For more than four years and multiple times a day, it has been management’s job to provide warm milk. It’s part of the labor contract – one that was struck, incidentally, when I was in labor.

First, warm milk was provided with the help of two mammary glands. And then, to make weaning easier, I warmed up the baby formula and, eventually, the cow’s milk.

When Wynn turned 4, the management decided that this was enough. Our daughter was old enough to drink cold milk. And so, holding our breath, we gave it a try.

The result? A strike.

Placards were made. Flyers were distributed. Threats were issued: She would never go to bed. She would not put on pants. And taking a bath or brushing her hair? Forget it.

We broke, almost immediately, and began negotiations. Eventually, we settled on room temperature milk. According to the contract, room temperature milk would go from the fridge to be warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds prior to being served – 50% less time than warm milk.

This seemed to work for a few months and then it got colder outside. And management’s willpower grew weaker.

One day, as a special treat, I added 15 seconds to the warming time, making it 45 seconds total.

“Mmmmm,” said Wynn. “It’s warm.”

Later that night and just before bedtime, I went back to making room temperature milk. But the fragile balance had been upset and Wynn demanded warm milk.

Management held an emergency meeting and considered their options. What was more important: Children wearing clothing, practicing good hygiene and getting enough sleep or 15 seconds in the microwave?

It was a difficult decision because we didn’t wanted spoiled children or anarchy. The negotiations lasted late into the evening or at least until 10 minutes past bedtime. And warm milk won.

Everyone went to bed, wearing pants, and got a good night’s sleep.

And the next morning I asked “Do you want some milk?”

“I’ll have juice,” said Wynn. “Warm.”

 

Here are the winners of the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I am a syndicated news journalist or a social media whore: One of the two.

You guys. Awesome news. I’m a HuffPost Parents blogger! I was trying to think of a clever way to tell you such as staging a flashmob, but it was too cold outside and I don’t have THAT many friends. I also considered a singing telegraph from a velociraptor. But velociraptors are extinct. So I’ll just say this: “I’m a HuffPost Parents blogger!!”

What does that mean?

Oh. Let me tell you.

What is HuffPost?

It’s an online newspaper and content aggregator started in 2005 by Arianna Huffington. And they pick up blog content like mine if you ask nicely. Or as they like to say they publish “fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost’s signature lineup of contributors.”

How did you get this gig?

I asked, nicely. At least I think it was nice. It was a bit salesy, but sometimes you have to pull out all the stops and just pitch yourself (at a discount and with a free set of knives). And they said “yes” which was really great. And it was on the Thanksgiving weekend, so that made me feel extra grateful that weekend.

Are you going to stop posting on your blog?

No. I am not. Because where would I do all my swearing if it wasn’t here? And where would I make fun of things that run in the HuffPost? I’m going to keep writing here, and some of the best stuff will make it’s way there.

How do I see it?

Here is my first post!

Here is my bio!

And here is what it looks like, if you’re just browsing around on the site. I kind of wish I was that adorable kid with the glasses, but I’m the one on the left.

huffpost home page

Please go there. And comment. Or like the post. Become a fan. Because this is a popularity contest. And I cannot win fortune without fame. And you will be rewarded with more of this writing crap. Plus selfies. And pictures of my kids.

And while you’re busy doing that I’ll be working on my fresh takes.

Find me on Twitter @7littlemexicans and #7LM
Follow this and more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sevenlittlemexicans 
Or become a fan on HuffingtonPost Parents

© Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sarah Ann Gilbert and Seven Little Mexicans with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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